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Private shore tour for cruises from/to Genova,  and Savona -  Excursion fron Genova Port -  Excursion fron Savona Port

Genova
Cinque Terre
Alassio
Albenga
Albissola Marina
Andora
Bordighera
Celle Ligure
Finale Ligure
Imperia
La Spezia
Levanto
Monterosso al Mare
Portofino
Portovenere
Rapallo
Riomaggiore
Riviera dei Fiori
San Remo
Others Places of Interest

 
 

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From Genova and Savona Port
 
Highlights of Savona & Albisola Pottery
This half day tour gives you the highlights of Savona and a visit to one of the famous nearby pottery factories. After meeting your driver you immediately driver to Albisola.Since the 16th century Albisola has been one of the most prestigious pottery centers in Italy. You’ll visit an old pottery factory to see the artisans working at the potter's wheel, as well as the baking and decoration phases. After the factory tour you return to nearby Savona which is the home town of the two most important Popes during the Italian Renaissance. Pope Sistus IV ordered the famous Sistine Chapel in Rome to be built. His nephew Julius II was Michelangelo' s patron. A third Pope from Savona, Pius VII, was a prisoner of Napoleon's in the Bishop's palace from 1809 until 1814. While you are here you visit Via Pia in the Medieval heart of the town. The area is filled with the Palaces of rich merchants and the aristocracy. The fine portals and loggias of these palaces are made of black slate. Inside the Cathedral is the famous choir which was ordered by Julius II at the beginning of the 16th century. A 19th century cloister connects the cathedral to the Little Sistine Chapel which was built by Pope Sistus IV during the late 15th century as a mausoleum for his parents.
 
Best of Genoa
after a beautiful panoramic drive, you’ll reach Genoa (Genova), the city of Christopher Columbus (Cristoforo Colombo), and home to Europe's largest Aquarium. If you cruise because you love the sea, then visiting the Aquarium of Genoa can be a truly emotional experience as you grapple with the concept of the immensity of the ocean you ride above and the richness it holds beneath. This unique experience unlocks a universe teaming with life and full of mysterious and strange creatures. Seals, dolphins, penguins, sharks, and fish of all shapes and colors accompany you along your path of discovery in this marine world. After your aquarium visit you will stop first at the panoramic terrace of Castelletto. From here you'll see the historical center of Genoa, the port and the “Lanterna” or lighthouse which is considered the symbol of the town. Next you'll enjoy a walking tour of the old city starting at the so-called “House of Colombo” near the medieval gate of “Porta Soprana”. On your walk you'll see the following highlights as your private guide explains them:
-Piazza De Ferrari- the contemporary heart of the town, with the Carlo Felice Opera House and beautiful fountains.
- Palazzo Ducale- the seat of the Doge and of the government of the Republic of Genoa with its neoclassical façade.
- Church of Saint Andrea- a masterpiece of Genoese baroque architecture (Baroque was the most important period in Genoese art) with two paintings by Peter Paul Rubens.
- Cathedral of San Lorenzo- Built in the 13th century, it is a good example of gothic architecture. Several renovations throughout the ages have also left their mark, and with the variety of art shown one next to the other your visit gives you a virtual course in Italian Art history.
- Piazza San Matteo- the best preserved example of a medieval residential quarter. San Matteo was the square of the Doria family area, and still maintains most of its medieval look, including beautiful palaces, porticoes, and traditional black and white striped facades. While you are in Genoa you will also have free time to enjoy lunch on your own. You return to the port in Savona later this afternoon.
 
Portofino and the Tigullio Coast
Portofino has long been and still remains a capital of high society and the so-called 'jet set', but it is also so much more than that. It is a bay and village of astonishing beauty with an important natural pier. It offers lush Mediterranean hillside forests and a charming village loaded with and history and beauty. Portofino began as a Phoenician port, then was ruled by Rome and finally served the Republic of Genoa. It is a cultural meeting point and has been loved by writers and philosophers like Nietzsche, Maupassant and Truman Capote who all lived here. Your walking tour of Portofino includes the Oratory of Santa Maria Assunta, where it is possible to see the traditional “Cristi”, a huge Crucifix that is carried through the town by the faithful during religious processions. You will also visit the church of San Giorgio on top of the promontory, with its extraordinary view down onto the village. You will walk to the Lighthouse, through the verdant Regional Park and up to a terrace outlook facing the tranquil Tigullio Gulf. By the time you have finished with your private guided tour you too will understand why this place is so highly regarded and famous the world over. This afternoon you’ll drive to Camogli, a very typical Tigullio coastal fishing village. The houses which are painted in strong colors will make you think that you stepped into your favorite painting. Here you’ll be able to taste a ligurian lunch (not included) with specialties like “pasta col pesto” an absolute must if you enjoy pesto, or local fish dishes with “focaccia di Recco”.
After a tour of Camogli and time for lunch you'll return to Savona.
 
Outlet Shopping Excursion
This full day excursion is for those who love fashion and love to shop! Your English speaking driver will meet you at the pier in Savona where you will immediately depart for one of the largest and best Outlet Malls in Italy. The McArthur Glen outlet shopping center is located in Serravalle. You will find over 180 shops including the best Italian and International brands available for you at incredible prices. Among the stores are Trussardi, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Nike, Adidas, Cavalli, Prada, Zegna, Aspesi, Guess, Moschino, Dell'Acqua, Bulgari, Bottega Verde, Fratelli Rossetti, Salvatore Ferragamo, United Colors of Benetton, and many more incldung American brands.
 

 

CINQUE TERRE

 
Cinque Terre
Is actually the name for a collection of five fishing villages in the Liguria region on the Northern coast of Italy. Rising up from the coast as sheer rock face, the towns are scattered for 18 km along the rocks, mountainous vineyards, and terraced hillsides. Cinque Terre is one of the best preserved coast lines of the Mediterranean as it has been protected from excessive housing development and the development of major roadways. The towns have retained their original character, and this has been recognized as the area has been named by UNESCO World Heritage Site as a national park. Tourists have also recognized its unique draw as more and more people flock to the area every summer.
 
San Lorenzo
Located in Manarola, this church is built in the baroque style. The cornerstone of the church dates back to 1338. The town also holds the world's biggest lighted nativity scene from Dec. 8th till late Jan.
 
Church of Santa Margherita d'Antiochia
This church was constructed in 1318 in Ligurian gothic style by the Maestri Antelami in Vernazza. Built upon a pre-existing XI century building, the structure is quite impressive as it rises 40 meters above the rocks right next to the sea.
 
Church of San Pietro
Corniglia honors Saint Peter with this church hovering over a rocky cliff dropping to the sea. Built on the remains of an older church, the current structure dates from 1334 and has a beautiful rosace.
 
Church of San Giovanni Battista
Also known as “Church of Saint John the Baptist”, Monterossa al Mare's church was built between 1244 and 1307 in Ligurian Gothic style. The beautiful façade is decorated with white and green marble.
 
Doria Castle of Vernazza
Vernazza was already a fortified village in 1080, but the Obertenghi family took it upon themselves to build a castle in this strategic location. The castle houses a bastion and a cylindrical tower of quadrangular base, the Belforte.
 
Wine Terraces
The impressive stone terraces that run along the paths between the towns are a work of sheer manpower. Throughout the centuries, the stone terraces have been maintained and rebuilt by its citizens. It is estimated that it has taken 200 years to build the entire stone-wall network and its length is said to rival the Great Wall of China.
 
Torre Aurora or Dawn Tower
This medieval tower separates the old town from new in Monterosso. The tower offers an observation deck that allows visitors to peer out at the bay and surrounding scenery.
 
Beaches
All of the villages besides Corniglia are situated on the water and offer places to sunbath, swim, and snorkel. The largest sandy beaches are at Monterosso, a small sandy beach lies in the harbor of Vernazza, and pebble beaches are near Riomaggiore and Corniglia. Cinque Terre is a consistent contender for the top of the Blue Flag Beach list of Italy. Riomaggiore offers the best snorkeling with tour companies offering lessons for first-timers.
 
Hiking Trails

This area has been named as a National Park and is protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. There are a variety of paths and trails that offer views of the turquoise waters and brilliant foliage.

 
Food and Drink

Along with the laid back atmosphere of the villages is the culture of good food and local wine. Seafood is plentiful with anchovies from Monterosso as a local specialty. Local grapes produce two popular wines: the Cinque Terre and the Sciachetra. Grappa, a brandy made with the pommace left from winemaking, and limoncello, a sweet liqueur flavored with lemons, are also popular.

 

 

ALASSIO

 
Alassio

Halfway between Genoa and Nice lies Alassio, a wonderful seaside town on the “Riviera delle Palme.” Situated between two capes, Capo Mele to the west, and Santa Croce to the east, the city is surrounded by terrific hiking trails with breathtaking views of the Ligurian Sea. With the best beaches in the region, Alassio makes a lovely destination for a holiday, whether it's an active, or relaxing time you're looking for.
Alassio's beach is covered with incredibly find sand that stretches for 3,700 meters along the coastline. Stroll along the sandy shore, or bask in the Mediterranean sun. It's a perfect spot for children because the water stays unusually shallow until a ways out. Numerous tropical sealife make their home within the Bay of Alassio's calm waters, making it an excellent spot for scuba divers, as well as shell collectors.
Once a bustling resort for the Italian and English upper class, Alassio is home to elaborate villas which dot the hillside, and its famous wall “The Muretto of Alassio,” gives its name to the annual beauty pageant held each August. With a charming historic center, fine port, pedestrian shopping area, and variety of sports facilities Alassio makes a perfect holiday destination for the whole family.

 
La Calletta
The tiny chapel by the Luca Ferrari Harbor is dedicated not only to the Virgin Mary, but also to the memory of all those lost at sea. It was consecrated on September 8, 1929, and stands on the former spot of an old defense tower.
 
Church of Santa Croce
The Benedictine monks from the island of Gallinara, who controlled Alassio in the 11th century, built the Church of Santa Croce on the Roman Road, Via Julia Augusta. Made of stone, in the Romanesque style, the church was badly damaged during the second world war. In the 1960s renovations were completed. It's worth a visit for the view alone. Perched high on a hill, you can see an amazing panoramic vista that includes miles of the Ligurian Sea from the lovely grounds surrounding the church.
 
The Tower
Protecting the port from pirates was serious business in the 16th century. So the Genoese built the tower at Borgo Coscia to do just that. Along the Ligurian coast towers can be spotted from among the greenery. Most are in ruins now, but centuries ago it was imperative for a town to have one so that guards could keep a watch on the sea, and warn of pirate invasions. Alassio's tower rises powerfully above the city.
 
The Tower of Vegliasco
During you're stay in Allasio, you're sure to spot the city's coat of arms. You'll notice a tower depicted there. It's not the tower in Alassio, it's actually the Vegliasco Tower which lies about 6 kilometers to the north. With its beveled crown it's one of the most beautiful towers in the region, and worth a visit.
 
Gallinara Island
Once home to the Benedictine monks who controlled Alassio in the 11th century, the island now houses a nature preserve. A large colony of Herring Gulls make their home here among many other varieties of birds, reptiles, and glorious flora and fauna.
 

 
ALBENGA
 
Albenga
With one of the Ligurian region's best preserved medieval centers, Albenga is a wonderful example of a historic Italian coastal town. Because the coastline fluctuated over the centuries, the town center lies nearly a kilometer from the shore. But with its abundance of well preserved historic buildings, squares, and archaeological sites, Albenga is one of the area's most important towns to visit. A wall surrounds the old town, with three large gates dating from the 1600s providing access.
Situated along the Riviera di Ponente, on the westernmost coast of the Italian Riviera, between Ceriale and Alassio, the charming town makes a fabulous holiday destination. And with its unique placement near the Centa River estuary, the area enjoys incredible agriculture. Flowers grow in abundance over this beautiful landscape. And the fruits, vegetables, and herbs are extraordinary.
 
Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel
Dating from the 13th century, the cathedral is situated upon the ruins of a 5th century church. It includes an ancient baptistry, three interesting towers, frescoes, and Serassi organ built in 1840.
 
Palaeo-Christian Baptistry
In the shape of a decagon, this ancient building from the 5th century AD is housed within the cathedral, and is one of the most important early Christian artifacts in the Ligurian region. Beautiful, colorful, yet ancient Byzantine mosaics, medieval tombs, and a baptism basin are found within its walls.
 
The Museo Navale Romano
Lovers of the maritime industries will delight in this fascinating and unique museum. It houses a collection of items found on a shipwreck dating from the first century AD.
 
Centa Estuary Archeological Site
The tomb of an early Christian girl with a gold net around her head was recently found here at this archeological site. The ruins of a spa are currently being excavated, including a 15 by 20 meter thermal pool, the largest of its type in the nation.
 
Palazzo Peloso Cipolla
With its 200 foot tower, and frescoed interior the palace makes an interesting visit for architecture and art enthusiasts. Once home to the archbishop, it's located in the Piazza San Michele and houses the Museo Navale Romana.
 
Roman Amphitheatre
The ruins of this ancient amphitheatre date from the second century. Lying just outside the city walls, it makes an interesting walk through ancient history.
 
I Caruggi degli Artisti
The west side of the old town is filled with little alleys. Go for a stroll through them, and take a look at the walls and doors. You'll see a charming collection of paintings hanging all around you.
 

 

ALBISSOLA MARINA

 
Albissola Marina
Renowned for its exquisite ceramic tradition, Albissola Marina is a fabulous resort on the Italian Riviera. Superb sandy beaches, wonderful historic architecture, lovely landscapes, and dozens of art galleries, and ceramic workshops are all found in this little town in the province of Savona.
The city prides itself on its artistic heritage, and displays a variety of artwork throughout its streets, parks, and promenade which runs along the shore. The promenade is lined with clubs and restaurants that contribute to the town's vibrant nightlife. And the large population of artists who make their home in Albissola Marina keep the atmosphere cosmopolitan yet relaxed.
Whether you're after a fun filled holiday full of shopping and dancing, or a quiet escape meandering through art galleries, and lying on the beach, Albissola Marina is the place for you.
 
Pottery Museum
A wonderful collection of regional pottery is housed in this museum, many dating from the 17th and 18th century when the industry was at its peak. One part of the museum is reserved for the the collection of Schiappapietra, who excavated the area around what is now the train station, and discovered a bounty of artifacts.
 
Casa Museo Villa Jorn
In 1959 the Danish artist Asger Jorn received honorary citizenship of Albissola, where he lived and worked for many years. He donated his home, at Via D'Annunzio 8, to the city in 1973 and it's now a museum. You can visit the artist's home, filled with murals, paintings, and sculptures, and take a guided tour, by appointment only.
 
Fabbrica Casa Museo Giuseppe Mazzotti 1903
In 1903 the famed ceramics manufacturer Giuseppe Mazzotti, whose family is very important in the region because of their devotion to the ceramic industry, established a workshop in Albissola. The museum, located on Viale Matteotti 29, near the mouth of the Sonsobbia River, includes the Mazzatti family home, work spaces, and an exhibition hall containing approximately 200 works by ceramic artists who have attended the Mazzotti workshop since it opened in 1903. The factory continues to produce ceramic works today, based on the traditional style of blue and white images depicting mythological figures, and landscapes. Lucio Fontana's life-sized crocodile, created in 1936 is a highlight.
 
Notra Signora della Concordia
This church, named for Our Lady of Peace, was erected in 1590, with a facade of baroque design added in 1903.
 
Villa Faraggiana
Surrounded by elegant parks and fountains, Villa Faraggiana is a majestic mansion filled with original details and furnishings, on the Via Salomoni. Built in the early 17th century for the Marquis Gerolamo Durazzo, it was sold in 1821 to the Faraggiana family. Alessandro Faraggiana left the villa to the city of Albissola Marina when he died in 1962. Inside you'll find the Gallery of Seasons, a lovely chapel, library, and enchanting bedrooms and sitting rooms. Over one hundred ceramic works are displayed within the villa's museum.
 
Pozzo Garitta
Medieval houses, covered with vines, and fronted by long staircases make up this section in the middle of the city. The courtyard is surrounded by galleries and workshops, including Fontana's workshop, which is considered a very important spot for the 20th century's artistic renaissance.
 
La Passeggiata degli Artisti (Artists' Walk)
Created in 1963, this extraordinary walkway along the sea is composed of millions of ceramic tiles. They form an incredible mosaic that stretches for two hundred meters, and continues to be developed.
 
Piazza dei Leuti
This area near the sea has always been a vibrant spot for trade, where merchants met, and ships sailed from. In the 16th century iron and wood were the focus of trade, and in the 18th century it was lace.
 
The Beach
Albissola Marina is an excellent beach destination. Beautiful sandy beaches are perfect for swimming or sunbathing. Restaurants, shops, and discos are close by, and lounge chairs and umbrellas are readily available to rent.
 
Piazzetta Nicolo Poggi
Named for the ceramic artist Niccolo Poggi, the square is located within the old town center. A bronze sculpture created by the local artist Angelo Ruga, dedicated to the children of Terzin, who were victims of the holocaust, was erected here in 2006.
 

 

ANDORA

 
Andora
Situated on the Italian Riviera between Genoa and Nice, Andora consistently wins the prestigious “Blue Flag Award” for its clean waters, beautiful, sandy beaches, and environmental strategies. Long boardwalks, and palm lined promenades stretch along the sea. The town is full of entertainments including a permanent amusement park.
Divers will find the World War II wreck that lies off Andora's shores enticing. And the yachting community will find plenty of space to dock in the port with its 700 berths. The local sailing clubs which hold regattas regularly are testament to this region's fine offshore delights. And if you like whale watching, a Whale Santuary was recently established in the waters stretching from Tuscany to Cannes, but it's focused just off the coast of Andora.
 
Santi Giacomo e Filippo
Built in 1100, in the hills of Andora, this ancient church was constructed of Capo Mele rock. A good example of late Romanesque style architecture, it is still intact, and worth a visit.
 
Lighthouse
In 1856 this lighthouse was erected on Capo Mele, at the west entrance to the Gulf of Genoa, to guide the ships in and out of this busy port. Rising 94 meters (308 ft) in height, it includes a three story keeper's house of red brick.
 
The Bridge
Originally built by the Romans over the River Merula, this stone bridge was re-constructed during the medieval period, and is still visible. Stretching to a length of 100 meters, it includes ten arches.
 
The Castle
The powerful Clavesana family erected this castle in the 13th century. Situated safely in the hills, it is now in ruins and includes a tower gate and the Paraxo, the section where the family lived.
 
Whale Sanctuary
The area of the Mediterranean Sea stretching from Cannes, to Tuscany, to Corsica is sanctuary for whales. Every year about 2000 whales journey to this part of the world. Wonderful whale watching can be had from the coast of Andora.
 

 

BORDIGHERA

 
Bordighera
Stunningly beautiful landscapes surround the little seaside town of Bordighera. Situated on the Riviera di Ponente, halfway between San Remo and the French border, it's called the “City of Palms” because those tall, tropical trees grow here in abundance alongside fragrant citrus orchards and date trees. The scenery is so picturesque that Monet once came here to paint, and the British flocked here en masse in the early 1900s.
Comprised of two parts, Bordighera Alta, the historic medieval center, and the modern part near the sea, the town has much to offer. With a pretty pebble beach, tiny fishing port, stylish villa-lined streets, fashionable shops, and a strong British influence, Bordighera is an intriguing destination. Sun worshipers have been basking along Bordighera's shore for ages.
 
The Clarence Bicknell Library-Museum
Over 85,000 books and 1,300 magazines of archeology, history, and art, are kept at this museum founded by one of Bordighera's most famous British residents, Clarence Bicknell. An archeologist, scholar, painter, botanist, and Protestant minister, Bicknell donated many of his collections to museums in the Ligurian region. Also on view are thousands of images depicting Bicknell's discoveries.
 
Saint Ampelio's Church
Erected in the 11th century, this church, dedicated to Bordighera's patron saint is of Romanesque style. Updated in the 15th and 17th centuries, and again in 1884, it includes a modern facade and bell tower. A statue of St. Ampelio, from the 17th century stands near the altar, and a stone from La Turbie in Monaco can be found in the crypt. Legend has it that St. Ampelio slept on this rock, and died on it on October 5, 428.
 
The Madonna of the Carmel's Chapel
The mayor of Bordighera, Giacomo Maria Giribaldi built this small church on his family's property, on the Piazza Mazzini, so the townspeople would not have to travel so far to the old town to attend mass. A rose window is situated on the church's facade above a lovely floral stucco frieze with a symbol of Mary. Tombstones of the Giribaldi family are set into the slate floor; A statue of Mary holding baby Jesus is set behind the altar; statues of St. Joseph and St. Erasmus are situated on either side; and many oil paintings, including those of St. John the Baptist, and St. Francis, fill the interior.
 
The Historical Center
Crowned by the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene, the historical center includes the Piazza del Popolo, an old bell tower, and a variety of arches and other medieval architectural details.
 
Città Vecchia
Three gates, the Porta del Capo, Porta Soprana, and Porrta Sottana were once the only entrances to this fortified area. Built on a five sided plan, many small alleys led to the Via Lunga, and the Via Dritta, the two main streets.
 
The Towers
Two towers, the Sapergo, and the Mostaccini were built in the 16th century to help protect the town from pirate raids. You can see them situated in the hills above the city, and can visit them by taking a drive up the Via dei Colli.
 
The Villa Mariani
A celebrated impressionist painter in the 19th and 20th centuries, Pampeo Mariani bought this villa in 1908, and lived here from 1909 to 1927. In 1911, the architect Rodolfo Winter, built an “atelier” in the orchards. Mariani called it the “observatory,” and many friends, including the Queen of Italy, Renoir, and Monet came here to visit him, and to paint.
 
The Argentina Promenade
Running between the railway and the beach, this 2 km walk is lined with beautiful gardens. Inaugurated by Evita Peron in 1947, the promenade includes a theatre space where music concerts occur regularly.
 
The Pallanca Exotic Garden
A wonderful collection of cacti and succulents are among the 3,200 different types of plants found in this garden. The Copiapoa, native to Chile, is the garden's oldest plant, over three centuries old.
 

 

CELLE LIGURE

 

Celle Ligure

Sheltered by the Punta dell'Olmo and Punta della Madonnetta, Celle Ligure lies by a peaceful bay on the Ligurian Riviera. The town's sandy beach is adjacent to verdant hills filled with pine trees, olive groves, and vineyards. Lined with shrubs and flowers, a promenade stretches for over one kilometer connecting the town's two beaches. Pastel colored houses line the port of this quaint fishing village, where generations have been pulling in their catch daily. It's a picturesque town in the wonderful Ligurian region, which retains its traditional appearance, and makes a fabulous beach holiday.
 
Church of St. Michael the Archangel
Built upon the site of the old medieval church in 1629, the Bishop of Savona consecrated this church in 1645. A wonderful painting of St. Michael the Archangel, created by the Raphael protege, Perino del Vaga in 1535; sculptures by Maragliano; and paintings by Domenico Fiasella, Domenico Piola and G.B. Carbone created in the 1600s can all be found inside.
 
Our Lady of Consolation
This 15th century church was renovated in 1725 so that the interior became a single nave, and the facade was redesigned in the Neoromanesque fashion.
 
The Historical Center
Surrounded by lovely pastel colored homes, painted this way so fishermen could distinguish their house from the rest, Celle Ligure's town center is quite cheerful. Visit the Ferri Palace and the Nostra Signora della Consolazione Church.
 
The Promenade
Any time of day is perfect for a stroll along Celle Ligure's seaside promenade. Beautiful Mediterranean vistas greet your palm fringed journey.
 
Antique and Craft Market
Each month, Celle Ligure holds an antique market. It takes place every second Sunday except in July and August.
 
 

FINALE LIGURE

 
Finale Ligure
With glorious sea views, and sandy white beaches, Finale Ligure, makes a fabulous holiday destination. Situated beside the Rock of Caprazoppa, the town is rich in culture, and history. A bustling commercial area, palm-lined boardwalk, and myriad open-air restaurants add a touch of excitement to this beautiful town on the Italian Riviera.
Finale Ligure is actually comprised of three districts. Finale Ligure Marina, and Finale Pia are both on the sea. Finale Pia houses a Benedictine abbey. An old medieval town, surrounded by a wall can be found at Finalborgo. It was built during the time when the Ligurian coast was prone to pirate raids.
 
Basilica of San Giovanni Battista
Two bell towers grace this wonderfully ornate church dating from the 17th century.
 
Church of Santa Maria di Pia
Important works from the 1500s can be found inside this church which was rebuilt in the 17th century. The structure includes a bell tower dating from the 13th century.
 
Church of San Biagio
The most interesting feature of this church is its 15th century tower which is in the shape of an octagon. The church was rebuilt in the 17th century.
 
Church of Sant'Eusebio
An ancient crypt dating from the 11th century, and a gothic apse are two of the incredible features of this interesting church. It also features Romanesque style architecture.
 
Church of Sant'Antonino
This church includes an ancient crypt which dates from the 12th century.
 
Church of San Bartolomeo Apostolo
Located in the section of Finale Ligure called Gorra, this church includes a bell tower of Gothic architecture, and a fabulous collection of mullioned windows.
 
Church of San Lorenzo
A bell tower of Romanesque style, dating from the 12th century can be found at this church. It's located in the area between Capo Noli and Varigotti.
 
Archaeological Museum
Found within the Santa Caterina convent is the Archaeological Museum. The convent was established in 1359, and two cloisters were added to the structure during Renaissance times. Today, the building houses exhibitions of Paleolithic and Neolithic artifacts, displays on the Roman era, and the Middle Ages, and a section devoted to the Finale Ligure landscape.
 
Collezione Aerei Piaggio
A collection of photos, drawings, and models detailing aircraft and its industrial production are housed in this unique museum. Accessible by appointment only.
 
Castle San Giovanni
Located high on a hill, the town lord once kept a watch for pirate invasions from this castle. It was erected in 1640.
 
Castello Vuillermin
Now a youth hostel, this building, situated in the hills above town, was constructed in the early 1900s.
 
Finale Marina Arch
Modeled after the Arch de Triomphe in Paris, this exquisite arch is located in the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II. It was constructed in 1888 as a tribute to Margarethe of Austria.
 

 

GENOVA

 
Genoa
(Genova in Italian) is a city and a seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria. Genoa is one of Italy's major ports is a good travel destination, having recently undergone a renovation. Genoa has a fascinating aquarium, an interesting port, and a historic center said to be the largest medieval quarter in Europe, with a wealth of churches, palaces, and museums. In 2006, Genoa's Rolli Palaces were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
 
Chiesa di S.Pietro in Banchi
The church is near the ruined city gate which shares its name, at the site of the old grain market. The main entrance to the city was here in the ninth century. What is most interesing about this church is that is was built on a terrace that is above a row of shops. Using bonds, the Genovese built these shops, so that the very expensive rent from them might help pay for the cost of building the church. It was built according to the plans of B. Cantone, G. Ponzello and il Vannone. Work was finished in the second half of the sixteenth century. Il Vannone was also the architect of the Loggia for the Merchants or the bankers. The church also was given the name “S.Maria Immacolata”, thanking the Madonna for the end of a plague. In front of the church there is a beautiful flight of steps. The church itself has a central plan with a large octagonal cupola and four spires, one of which is missing. It is a copy of Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Carignano. The outside of the church is decorated with frescoes from the seventeenth century which have been recently restored. Inside, there are precious stuccoes and frescoes by M. Sparzo, A. Semino, A. Ansaldo and P.G. Piola.
 
Cattedrale di S. Lorenzo
From Piazza Matteotti the busy Via San Lorenzo runs northwest to the harbor. Immediately on the right is the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, originally a Romanesque pillared basilica (1100-1160), remodeled in Gothic style in 1307-12 and crowned with a Renaissance dome by Galeazzo Alessi in 1557. It contains fine pictures and sculpture. In the north aisle is the large Cappella San Giovanni Battista (1450-65), the earliest example of Renaissance architecture in Genoa. Under the cathedral lies the Treasury.
 
Chiesa di S. Matteo
The gothic, private church of the Doria family. The descriptions of the victories of the family are sculpted in the facade. Inside, the church has a fully different appearance: the precious decoration was done in the sixteenth century. To the left of the church there is a charming cloister of the fourteeth century.
 
Archivio storico della pubblicità
Located within the Palazzo Doria Pamphily “del Principe”, this collection houses sketches, posters and other material from the second half of the nineteenth century till today, as well as various tools used in the advertising sector, radio and television. From headed paper to posters, and from the carousel to video clips.
 
National Gallery
Southwest of the church, in the Palazzo Spinola, is the National Gallery (Galleria Nazionale), with works by Antonello da Messina, Anthonis van Dyck, etc. as well as valuable sculpture and a triptych by Joos van Cleve (1485).
 
Museum of the Antarctic
Set off on a fascinating voyage towards the ice continent. An adventure to discover the Italian bases in the Antarctic and the most spectacular polar scenarios through films, reconstructions and scientific exhibits. A cutting edge, interactive set up allows the visitor to discover the last, still uncontaminated continent and to follow the scientific activities of the Italian researchers working in the Antarctic, the immense natural laboratory ideal for studying environmental and climatic problems.
 
Strada Nuova
Strada Nuova or the Via Garibaldi, is inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2006. This district was designed in the mid-16th century to accommodate Mannerist palaces of the city's most eminent families, including Palazzo Rosso, Palazzo Blanco, Palazzo Grimaldi and Palazzo Reale. The famous art college, Musei di Strada Nuova and the Palazzo del Principe are also located on this street.
 
Teatro Carlo Felice
On the northeast side of the Piazza De Ferrari in Genoa is the Neo-Classical Teatro Carlo Felice (1828), one of the largest opera-houses in Italy (burned down during the Second World War and re-opened in 1991; guided tours). In front of the opera-house stands an equestrian statue of Garibaldi (1893).
 
Palacio Ducale
On the north side of the square is the former Doge's Palace (Palacio Ducale), a group of buildings dating from the 13th century. It has been converted into an exhibition and function center and opened in 1992. The frescoes by Carlone and Tiepolo have been restored.
 
Piazza De Ferrari
The hub of Genoa is the Piazza De Ferrari, surrounded by public buildings, banks and the offices of the big shipping lines, and with the busiest streets in Genoa radiating from it in all directions.
 
Aquarium
Genoa Aquarium is the biggest in Europe and one of the most important worldwide, and with one and a half million visitors each year it is one of Europe's leading cultural attractions. The Aquarium's 59 tanks reproduce marine and terrestrial habitats from throughout the world and provide a home for more than 500 animals belonging to 500 different species. While it is first and foremost a tourist attraction, the Aquarium also has a mission to increase public awareness of environmental problems.
 

 

IMPERIA

 
Imperia
Situated on the Riviera dei Fiori, Imperia is comprised of two sections, the upscale Porto Maurizio and the more modern Oneglia. The two sections are divided by a stream of water called the Torrente Impero. Renowned for its flower and olive oil industries, Imperia is home to a wonderful Olive Tree museum. Aside from the marvelous Mediterranean Sea, and the gorgeous hills that surround the region, there is plenty to keep visitors occupied in Imperia. Water sports like windsurfing, sailing, and white water rafting can be enjoyed, as can rock climbing, and plenty of hiking. The film, The Bourne Identity, starring Matt Damon was filmed here.
 
Cathedral of San Maurizio
One of the many special details one should know about this church is that it is the largest in Liguria. Erected in the late 18th century by Gaetano Cantoni, its twin bell towers crown the lovely landscape.
 
The Olive Tree Museum
Tens of thousands of visitors pass through the doors of the Olive Tree Museum each year to discover the mysteries of this wonderful plant. Founded in 1992, the museum presents the history of the olive tree, focusing on the incredible role it has played in Italian society and economy.
 
Church of San Giovanni Battista
The architect Gaetano Amoretti designed this 18th century church. A dome dominates the church's interior which also includes three naves.
 
Convent of Santa Chiara
Originally founded in 1365, this ancient order is now housed in a building which was constructed in 1741.
 
The Spaghetti Museum
Various tools used in the creation of pasta are on view in this museum. It is located in Oneglia.
 
The Villa of the Clown “Grock”
The Swiss clown Karl Adrien Wettach spent the last years of his life at this Imperia villa, in the 1950s. His former home is now open to the public.
 
The Hanbury Gardens at the Villa Hanbury
Created in 1867, this vast botanical garden includes a range of wonderful exotic plants. A visit reveals eucalyptus, cypress, aloe, bamboo, orange trees, and more.
 

 

LA SPEZIA

 
La Spezia
La Spezia (Spesa in the local dialect of Ligurian) is a city in the Liguria region of northern Italy, at the head of La Spezia Gulf, and capital city of the province of La Spezia.
It is one of the major Italian military and commercial harbors, located between Genoa and Pisa on the Ligurian Sea. La Spezia also hosts one of the biggest military industries of Italy, OTO Melara.
It's a beautiful city with a beautiful sea that blends with the nearby mountains, a good overlap of sky, earth and water. The streets are full of bergamotto trees, and next to the beach there are really beautiful gardens with interesting plants.
 
Cristo Re dei Secoli
Cristo Re dei Secoli (“Christ the King of Centuries”, cathedral) was consecrated in 1975. The project was by Adalberto Libera.
 
Abbey church of Santa Maria Assunta
Abbey church of Santa Maria Assunta (“Our Lady of the Assumption”, 13th century) houses a considerable series of artworks, some of them coming from other suppressed religious institutes. They include an Incoronation of the Virgin by Andrea della.
 
Santi Giovanni e Agostino (Saints John and Augustine)
It has a single nave with 18th and 19th century decorations.
 
Museo Amedeo Lia
This museum displays Italian paintings from the 13th to 18th centuries, including minor works by Venetian masters Titian, Tintoretto, and Canaleto. Also on show are Roman bronzes and ecclesiastical treasures such as Limoges crucifixes and illuminated musical manusripts.
 
Palazzina delle Arti and Museo del Sigillo
Next door to the museum, the Palazzina delle Arti dates back to the 19th century. Inside, the Museo del Sigillo displays more than 1500 seals dating from the 4th millennium BC ti the present day.
 
Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art
A collection of mostly Italian abstract art can be viewed. The museum also stages temporary exhibitions.
 
Technical Naval Museum
Next to the naval base Museo Tecnico Navale, founded in 1870. It hosts a phalanx of polene (colourful busts or statuettes that graced the prows of vessels) and lots of model ships. The naval base itself only opens to the public for one day of the year on the 19th of March for the festival of the town's patron saint, Joseph.
 
Castle of San Giorgio
Recently restored. Probably originated from a watchtower, the first castle is known to have been built by Nicolo Fieschi in 1262. In 1273 the Genoese destroyed it, and a new fortification, along with a new line of walls, was erected by the podesteria of La Spezia from 1371. Annexed to this edifice, the Republic of Genoa added a new castle starting from 1607.
 

 

LEVANTO

 
Levanto
Situated at the foot of a densely wooded valley, Levanto is a natural paradise. Pine and olive trees surround the lovely town, and the Mediterranean Sea laps its beautiful sandy beach. Surfers and sunbathers flock here in summer, and even the winters enjoy a moderate climate.
Approximately 60 km from Genoa, Levanto is located within the coastal region of the Comunita Montana della Riviera Spezzina, and parts of the town lie within the boundaries of the Cinque Terre National Park.
 
Church of Saint Andrew
Black and white bands decorate the facade of this 13th century church. It's a wonderful example of Gothic Ligurian architecture, with a glorious rose window. During special occasions, the chalice of Henry VIII is displayed here.
 
Church of Saint Mary of the Coast
A treasure of this ancient church is a bas-relief that depicts St. George and the dragon, from the 1500s.
 
Church of San Francesco
Important frescoes can be found within this beautiful church. The original structure dates from the 15th century, but it was rebuilt in 1615.
 
Mostra Permanente della Cultura
This permanent exhibition is devoted to showcasing Ligurian handicrafts and local traditions.
 
The Castle
Perfectly preserved, Levanto's castle was build during Medieval times to defend the village from pirate raids.
 
Villa Agnelli
Located in one of the most beautiful parts of Levanto, this villa is surrounded by gorgeous gardens which were planted in the early 1900s.
 
The Loggia Medievale
Debates between the local magistrates were held here in the 15th century when it was built. The structure is of an extraordinary size and shape, and includes four wonderful columns, and fabulous frescoes.
 
The Medieval Wall
Portions of Levanto's medieval wall are still intact. Built to protect the village from pirate raids, the wall once stretched for 500 meters, surrounding the town with a strong fortification.
 
Piazza della Loggio
Many important buildings are located in this Piazza including the town hall and public library. During the 13th century, the piazza was the courtyard of the Monastery of the Order of St. Claire.
 
The Hills
Myriad hiking trails wind through the hills surrounding Levanto, offering spectacular views of the sea. Densely populated with pine and olive trees, the region is a hiker's delight. It is even possible to get to Cinque Terre by foot. Be sure to bring sturdy hiking shoes, and plenty of water.
 

 

MONTEROSSO AL MARE

 
Monterosso al Mare
Home to the only proper beach in the Cinque Terre, Monterosso al Mare is the most popular of the five villages. The westernmost town, it has two parts, the old town, and the new town, separated by a tunnel. From the olive grove, and vineyard covered hills surrounding Monterosso, one can witness breathtaking sea vistas.
 
Church of San Giovanni Battista
Located in the main square of the old town, this church was constructed in the 1200s, in the Gothic-Genovese style. Its facade is comprised of alternating strips of green serpentine, and white marble. The bell tower dating from 1400 was built to help protect the city from attack. Inside, there is a fresco depicting the baptism of Christ. The church's baroque altar dates from the late 18th century.
 
The Oratorio'della Morte
The facade of this baroque structure reveals Spanish influence. Frescoes featuring themes of death, and a statue of Saint Anthony Abate, can be found inside.
 
The Oratorio'della Santa Croce
A wonderful organ dating from the early 19th century is housed within this church. It was constructed in the 16th century, and features a choir loft, the bannister of which includes musical instruments
 
The Cappuccini Convent
Perched on San Cristoforo Hill, this Convent was built in the 1600s when Cappuccini monks held a Lent sermon in town. Don Giuseppe Policardi bought the structure in 1894 and restored it. Wooden altars in the typical Franciscan style can be found inside, joining incredible works of art such as a “Madonna degli Angeli” by Oldoino Multedo, from 1896, and an oil painting of the crucifixion attributed to Van Dyck.
 
Aurora Tower and Fortified Walls
Constructed in the middle ages to help defend the town from pirate raids, the Aurora Tower is located between the old and new parts of Monterosso. It is said that Monterosso was once home to 13 towers, but only three survive. A stroll along the fortified walls offers incredible views of the sea.
 
Statue of Neptune
An incredible concrete statue of Neptune, by A. Minerbi, rising to 14 meters, can be found at the entrance to the port. The shell was once used as a terrace, adjacent to a villa where many balls were held. The villa was destroyed by bombing in World War II.
 
The Coastal Path
All five villages of the Cinque Terre are linked by a footpath that varies in elevation and terrain. The entire trail stretches for 4.5 km (9 miles).
 
The Beach
Monterosso al Mare is home to the largest beach in the Cinque Terre. So if it's sand and sun you're after, this town makes a great home base.
 

 

PORTOFINO

 
Portofino
Portofino is a small Italian fishing village and tourist resort located in the province of Genoa on the Italian Riviera. The town crowded round its small harbor is considered to be among the most beautiful Mediterranean ports. Portofino has even been recreated in stupendous detail around the “harbor” at Tokyo DisneySea in Chiba, Japan, and to a much lesser extent, the Portofino Bay Resort at Universal Orlando Resort in Orlando, Florida.
 
Church of San Gregorio
The church of the fortem of San Giorgio was built during 12th century but rebuilt after the damages of the last war, according to the eighteenth-century shape. A tombstone reminds that St. George's relics, here preserved, were brought by the Crusaders in the eleventh century. The fortress of San Giorgio lies almost in the centre of the promontory; it was built on the Genoese people's will and it was finished in 1557. The building was modified in the following centuries and restored by Alfredo D'Andrade at the end of the 19th-century.
 
San Martino
In Portofino there is the church of San Martino, much remanaged in the last century; it keeps works by the Ligurian School. Noteworthy is also the medieval oratory of Santa Maria Assunta, built in the fourteenth century.
 
Castello Brown
From the harbor, follow the signs for the climb to the Castello di San Giorgio, the most worthwhile sight in Portofino, with its medieval relics, impeccable gardens, and sweeping views. The castle was founded in the Middle Ages but restored in the 16th through 18th century. In true Portofino form, it was owned by Genoa's English consul from 1870 until its opening to the public in 1961.
 
Abbazia della Cervara
Heading north along the coastal road is Abbazia della Cervara built in 1361 and surrounded by formal gardens. benedictine monks lived here from the 14th o the 18th century, during which time they played host to three popes and a saint (Catherine of Siena), while the French king, Francois I, spent a less convivial time here a a prisoner after the 1525 Battle of Pavia. French Trappist monks arrived in the 9th century, but the abbey has been a private residence since 1937. Guided tours (by reservation only) take in the gardens, 15th century chapter house, 16th century cloister and the Saracen Tower built to safeguard the abby against Saracen attacks in the 1500s.
 

 

PORTOVENERE

 
Portovenere
The houses along the coast in Liguria are painted different colors so the fishermen can spot their home from the sea. There's a wonderful example of this in Portovenere, a beautiful fishing village on the Italian Riviera. What's especially unique about Portovenere, which is named after the Roman goddess Venus, is that it is situated on a rocky peninsula. Thus, it is surrounded by the magnificent Mediterranean Sea. More specifically, the town lies upon the Gulf of Poets, named in honor of the writers like Lord Byron, DH Lawrence, and Percy Bysshe Shelley who often visited the region.
 
San Pietro Church
Black and white stripes adorn the exterior of this ancient, Gothic church dedicated to Saint Peter. Dating back to the 12th century, the church was constructed over the ruins of another church from the fifth century.
 
San Lorenzo Church
It is believed that this Romanesque style church, dedicated to Saint Lawrence, was built over the remains of a temple to Jupiter. Constructed in 1098, it suffered a fire in 1340, and damaged again in 1494 during the war with the Aragonese. In 1582 the church was restored. A painting depicting the White Madonna can be found within the marble altar. Legend has it that the painting arrived in Portovenere in 1204. On August 17, 1399, a miracle occurred which transformed the image to its present state.
 
Museum of Saint Lorenzo
The church also houses a museum dedicated to Saint Lorenzo. Among the interesting artifacts are caskets made in Syria, of ivory, which date from the 10th century. The paintings from Ligurian and Tuscan schools, which date from the 15th and 16th century are also worthwhile.
 
Church of Our Lady of Grace
In the nearby village of Le Grazie, this 14th century church is located. The medieval town was actually constructed around it.
 
The Doria Castle
The ruins of this ancient medieval castle dominate the Portovenere landscape. It offers magnificent views of the sea.
 
The Medieval Town
Passing through the old stone gate, one embarks on a stroll through Portovenere's main street, Via Capellini. Shops and homes line the ancient street. As you pass through the gate, look out for the inscription which reads “Colonia Januensis 1113.”
 
The Harbor
A promenade, lined with restaurants, bars, and colorful homes runs along Portovenere's harbor. Take a seat on one of the big rocks that juts out into the sea, and watch the fishermen come in with the day's catch, or go for a swim.
 
Byron's Cave
The great poet Lord Byron often swam in this part of the bay during his visits to Portovenere.
 
The Islands
Once inhabited by Benedictine monks, the Islands of Palmaria, Tino, and Tinetto lie just off the shore of Portovenere. The largest, Palmaria, is blessed with lovely beaches. Here one finds the Blue Grotto and the Grotta dei Colombi. Boats from Portovenere, and La Spezia transport visitors here. Tino is only accessible to visitors on the 13th of September, when the Saint Venerio's feast day is celebrated. The island is home to the abbey of San Venerio which dates from the 11th century, and now lies in ruins. The tiny island of Tinetto houses a monastery from the 6th century, and is now a military zone.
 

 

RAPALLO

 
Rapallo
Rapallo is a commune in the province of Genoa, in Liguria, Italy. It is part of the Tigullio Gulf and is located in between Portofino and Chiavari. The climate is moderate and the main part of town is on fairly level land. Many of the villas are built in the hills that rise immediately behind the city to protect them from strong northern winds. Rapallo has been known for its climate that made it over the years the winter residence of preference for most of the affluent Italians living in the North West of Italy. Its proximity to the coast makes for mild winters where people can enjoy easy strolls on the sunny promenade and the golfers can enjoy one of the oldest courses in Italy, opened in 1930.
Rapallo is the second city for importance of Tigullio Gulf. The symbol of Rapallo is its old catle surrounded by the sea that once had to defend the city from pirate invasions and where now-a-days original art exhibitions are held. Early in July, the catle bursts into flame under a ring of fireworks: It is the highest point of festivity in honor of the Holy Virgin of Montallegro, whose shrine has been built on a hill bearing the same name and that can be reached by the only funicular in Ligury. From up here, there is the most breathtaking view and the walls inside the 7th Century shrine still preserve many precious “ex-voto”.
Rapallo is a pictorial town and it is one with some truly incredible Medieval and Renaissance architecture. Within the center of the town is the old medieval village, much of which dates back to the 13th century. Parts of the old city wall remain, and while it once had five gates to enter the town only one survives to today. The Porta delle Saline is a classic reminder of the citys early middle Ages past.
Among the most striking within the old buildings is the towns Civic Tower, which was first erected in 1473 and later was heightened a century a later with the addition of a clock town. This building is a classical example of the towns Baroque architecture. Used as the old Town Hall it was once used as the Hospital of SantAntonia but had to be abandoned in the 15th century due to flooding.
Nearby is the Church of Santo Stefano, which is the oldest building in the town, dating back to the 11th century. It was the first Christian parish in the region and today is still a functioning church. The Church of San Francesco is another magnificent sacred building. Built in 1519 it is made of white and black cobblestones using the Ligurian tradition of building, which a style that has been copied throughout Europe and North America.
 
Church of Santo Stefano
The Church of Santo Stefano, the first parish church in Rapallo, is the oldest building in town. It was built before the XI century, but the first news about it can be dated back to 1155 when a new parish church, dedicated to St. Gervasio and Protasio, was erected.
 
Church of San Francesco
It was built in 1519, together with the convent next door. Its parvis is very particular because it is made with white and black cobble-stones following Ligurian tradition. Inside, the church contains a notable wooden Christ by Anton Maria Maragliano, an important XVII century sculptor, whose works are to be found in many churches on the Italian Riviera. Some of them are now also in other European countries and America.
 
The Church of Santi Gervasio e Protasio
This building, standing in Corso Italia, was erected in the XI century and renewed in the following century. Finally, in 1606 it acquired its present structure. The bell-tower was erected in the XVIII century and the faade can be dated back to 1857. Inside, notable paintings are can be seen: there is a Miracle of St. Biagio by Domenico Fiasella and a Deposition attributed to Luca Cambiaso.
 
Rapallo Castle
A few meters from the shore, surrounded by water, is the Castle built in 1551. It was designed by Mastro Antonio Carabo to protect the town from the raids of fierce pirates, who ransacked Rapallo in 1549. Its structure was intended to suit the use of firearms, which were beginning to replace traditional weapons at that time. Originally it had two floors. On the lower floor were the dungeons; while on the upper one was a firing square. It was built entirely in stone with walls that were over two meters thick. Its only external openings, meant for the cannons in all four directions. At the beginning of the XVII century a new floor was added, which served as a new firing square. A tower was also built with ornamental battlements without embrasures. Shortly afterwards a small apartment was built for the Captain of Rapallo.
 
Villa Porticciolo and Casale Park
Villa Porticciolo and Villa Casale are two beautiful villas amid the nature of Casale Park. From the middle of the XVII century Villa Porticciolo belonged to several well-off families, until Countess Maria Casale, its last owner, gave both the building and the park to the town of Rapallo.
Villa Casale was built by the Spinolas in the XVII century. It has been owned by the town of Rapallo since 1974 and now houses the International Library and the Museo del Pizzo e del Tombolo (the Lace Museum) created to preserve several beautiful examples of local handicrafts. The most interesting pieces come from the private collection of Mario Zennaro, who donated its collection to the town of Rapallo in 1968.
 
Promenade
You must start your visit in Rapallo on the promenade, where, walking among palm and olive-trees, you can enjoy a wonderful view of the whole bay. Facing the town, you see the beautiful colored buildings housing cafes, hotels and restaurants, while on the other side is the sea, the Castle and the port.
 
Porch of the Oratorio delle Clarisse
On the way back to the town centre from the park, you can see the long porch of the Oratorio delle Clarisse. It was started in 1633, but it was opened only in 1691. After the nuns left it in 1902, it became the property of the town of Rapallo, which converted it into a theatre where most of the important local events take place.
 
Piazza Cavour
Following Corso Italia, you arrive in Piazza Cavour where Via Venezia, Via Mazzini and Via Marsala begin. This is the centre of historical Rapallo. Here was the medieval village, whose first news can be dated back to 1240. It used to be accessible through five gates, of which only one still survives: Porta delle Saline, giving onto the road to Santa Margherita.
 

 

RIOMAGGIORE

 
Riomaggiore
What distinguishes Riomaggiore from the other four Cinque Terre towns is its historic character. Its medieval castle lies in ruins in the upper part of the town, and it's home to a 14th century church. It is the southernmost town in the grouping, accessible from Manarolo by the lovely Via dell'Amore.
The town is renowned for its wine that is created from grapes grown in the vineyards in the surrounding hills. From the hills, one can see the unique tower houses that fram the town's small sandy beach, and harbor.
 
Saint John the Baptist Church
Founded in 1340, the facade of this church which over looks the town, was renovated in the Gothic style, in 1870. Inside, a pulpit from 1530 features a relief of Saint Martin.
 
Oratory of the Disciplined
This structure dates from the 16th century, and can be found in the lower parts of the town.
 
The Castle
In the upper reaches of Riomaggiore, lie the ruins of the 15th century castle. The old cemetery is also found here.
The House Where Telemaco Signorini Stayed
The Italian artist, Telemaco Signorini (1835 - 1901) visited Riomaggiore frequently in the 19th century. He stayed at a house near the Church of Saint John the Baptist.
Via dell'Amore
This is the walkway for lovers. Paved, and flat, it's an easy 20 minute pathway to the next town, Manarolo. Relax on one of the benches that line the trail, and watch the sunset.
The Vineyards
The hills surrounding Riomaggiore are filled with beautiful vineyards that produce the famous local wine.

RIVIERA DEI FIORI

Riviera dei Fiori
The Riviera dei Fiori is a stretch of coast stretching from the east of Cape Apples to the border of France. Its name means “Coast of Flowers”, and it is indeed known for the fragrant flowers that grow here. This section of the Itailian Riveria is highly sought after because of the variety of leisure activities it offers. Filled with sandy beaches, hilly inlands, the sea, and olive groves, Riviera dei Fiori can satisify any traveller. Different towns also offer different characteristics with some small villages precariously perched over the sea and featuring sun-drenched activities like swimming and snorkeling, while other bustling cities have huge castles and international nightlife. Typical of the Riviera, the area has a mild climate with little rain and frequent sunny.
The Olive Museum
The exhibition museum is housed in a building by the Brothers Carli and is still surrounded by the olive oil establishment. There is a museum and library dedicated to olives and olive oil. The Olive Museum is free and open from 9 to 12 and from 15 to 18.30 Monday to Saturday.
Parish Church of San Giovanni Battista
This Church dominates the village of Cervo. It is unique in its quality of Baroque architecture and its valuable eighteenth century stuccoes in the interior. Built by the community of Cervo with the profits earned from their fishing industry and coral trade, the design is from architect Gio Batta Marvaldi.
The Collegiate or Basilica of San Maurizio
The largest church in Riviera dei Fiori is a cathedral built and designed by Gaetano cantons. Started in 1781, the structure was completed in 1838. The cathedral was built to exlemplfiy the riches of the Maritime Republic of Genoa and Porto Mauritius
Clavesana's Castle
The castle has undergone many modifications during the centuries, but still features its original aspect of military defense with its ramparts and crenels. The castle also houses the ethnographic museum of the Ponente Ligure.
Roman Ruins
Found intermittently in the area, Ventimiglia has some of the best ancient ruins of old city walls, tombs, and even an old Roman theatre.
Taggia's Streets
A fairy-tale medieval footbridge crosses the river and allows traders with mules to enter the town from the hills. Taggia's Santuario del Crocifisso in via Soleri is also a rustic reminder as a Renaissance “covered” street.

SAN REMO

San Remo
San Remo, Italy's largest and oldest winter health resort, lies on the Mediterranean coast of western Liguria in the northwest, on the “Riviera dei Fiori”, in a bay enclosed by a semicircle of hills. From San Remo it is only about 20km to the Italian-French frontier. It was founded in Roman times and is now best known for being a tourist destination on the Italian Riviera and the host of several cultural events such as the San Remo Music Festival. It is also widely accepted as the origin of the Five-card stud variant, Telesina. Thanks to its sheltered situation San Remo has a mild and equable climate in winter, and in summer it is a lively and popular resort, with a beach which is partly artificial.
San Siro
The Romanesque-Gothic cathedral was built in the 13th century. By the north door is a relief showing the paschal lamb between palms, by the south door a Madonna between saints. The late medieval bell-tower was given a new dome in the Baroque period, and was rebuilt after the Second World War. Inside are a large crucifix above the high altar and a painting of San Siro (1550).
Orthodox Russian Church
The Church was consecrated to the Saviour and St Catherine and is a fairly eccentric monument. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, many Russians decided to spend their winters in San Remo and this was due to the tsarina Maria Alexandrovna who had spent an unforgettable winter season in San Remo in 1874 and then "promoted" it once back to her country. The Church was finished in 1913 and it is slightly similar to the church of San Basilio in Moscow.
 
Santo Stefano
Church of Santo Stefano, was reconstructed by the Jesuits beginning from the middle of the 17th century. It keeps the painting illustrating the Madonna with the infant Jesus and the Saints Anne and Francesco Saverio by Domenico Piola and frescoes by Giovanni Battista Merano.
Madonna della Costa
The town is dominated by the sanctuary of the Madonna della Costa, built with a single nave in the 17th century and enlarged in the presbytery and in the transept in 1778 by Domenico Belmonte. Here we can admire frescoes by Giacomo Antonio Boni, the painting of the Madonna with the infant Jesus belonging to the school of Barnaba da Modena (end of the 14th century) and a painting by Domenico Fiasella.
 
Civico Museo Archeologico
At the top of Corso Felice Cavalotti lies the Palazzo Borea D'Olmo, an impressive 15th century palace with a Baroque facade. It houses an archeological museum, with finds from Palaeolithic and Bronze and Iron Age settlements in the San Remo region.
 
Vlla Nobel
Alfred Nobel, famous as the discoverer of dynamite, lived and died (1896) in this villa on Corso Felice Cavalotti. Since 1973 it has served as a cultural center; there is also a small Nobel Museum.
 
Parco Marsaglia
The Corso Imperatrice is a promenade shaded by palms in the west of the bay. At its far end is the beautiful Parco Marsaglia with an auditorium (theater, concerts).
 

 

Places of Interest

 
Casino
One of the major attractions is the Town Casino (360,000 visitors a year) where the traditional green cloth goes hand in hand with Las-Vegas-style electronic slot machines. The gambling house was first designed at the end of the seventeenth century and later its construction was financially supported by the local banker Bartolomeo Acquasciati, who in 1898 paid out as much as L.1,200,000 to the town council to have it laid out in its current Art-Nouveau style by the French architect Eugenio Ferret. Its construction reached its final stage on January 12nd, 1905.
 
La Pigna
San Remo's medieval old town nestles on the hillside. Here you can wander amongst the steep winding streets, alleyways and secluded piazzas. La Pigna translates literally as 'pine cone' something that will make sense as you curl your way around the old town before finally arriving at the top. At the will be greeted not only by the church of the Madonna della Costa but also with an impressive view of both the town and the bay.
 
Mercato del Fiori
Corso Garibaldi forms the eastward continuation of Corso Matteotti, with a covered flower market (Mercato del Fiori), where auctions are held early every morning.
 
Bussana Vecchia
Is a very original village 9km east of San Remo, a hill village, which was destroyed in 1887 by an earthquake.: here you can find every type of craftsmen's and artists' workshops, ranging from goldsmith's to designer's or botanist's. The village has been literally reborn and every year its peculiar atmosphere attracts thousands of tourists, who are eager to find out what spell seems to hover above this Medieval village.
 

 

SANTA MARGHERITA LIGURE

 
Santa Margherita Ligure
Santa Margherita Ligure is a fair-sized town; large enough not to seem smothered by the tourism which has been an integral part of the town's existence for decades. The harbor mainly caters for smart yachts, but the town is also home to a small fishing fleet which can be seen unloading opposite the business like morning fish market.
 
La Madonna della Rosa
When in downtown, visit the Basilica di S. Margherita di Antiochia, also called “La Madonna della Rosa” honoring the legend of a sailor who in the middle ages brought a sculpture of the Virgin with a rose in her right hand and Jesus on her left arm. The construction of the Basilica was begun in 1658, the bell tower is of the 1750's. The bell tower on the left side is of 1927.
 
Church of San Giacomo
Church of San Giacomo in Corte was built in 17th century which contains among other sights a creepily-illuminated Madonna in a rocky niche.
 
Santa Margherita Vergine e Martire
This Church was built in 16th century.
 
Saint Erasmo Church
This Church houses an oratory with a superb collection of mariners votary objects.
 
Cervara Abbey
The complex rises between a dense and rich vegetation over the Coast road of the Dolphins between Saint Margherita and Portofino, it is made up of church, monastery and large park with garden. In 1912 it has was declared a national monument.
 
Villa Durazzo Palace
Villa Durazzo Palace is the most beautiful mansion in town. It was a summer residence built in the seventeenth century by rich Genovese family. Now, it houses a museum (Vittorio Rossi Museum), and an impressive art collection.
 

 

SAVONA

 
Savona
Christopher Columbus is one of Savona's most famous former residents. While documenting his explorations, he lived in a cottage in the hills above Savona, farming the land. Many homes in the area associate themselves with the great explorer, and Savona, is one of several Ligurian cities which claim to be his birthplace.
Situated on the Riviera di Ponente, 45 km west of Genoa, Savona is rich in both history and beauty. Its bustling port is filled with fishing boats, luxury yachts, and the occasional cruise ship; its wide sandy beach is full of families and young couples basking in the Mediterranean sun; and its medieval center features historic buildings, churches, and monuments.
 
Cathedral of Savona
Constructed in 1589, the cathedral, with three naves, contains frescoes created by Coghetti. Of particular interest are the choir seats with their carved wood, which date from the 16th century.
 
The Sistine Chapel
Situated beside to the cathedral, the Sistine Chapel was constructed in the late 15th century by Pope Sixtus IV. It bares an architectural resemblance to that other, most incredibly famous Sistine Chapel in Rome. Renovations occurred in the 1700s. Rococo details were added, as were ceiling paintings by Paolo Gerolamo Brusco.
 
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mercy
In 1536 when Savona was at war with Genoa, the Virgin Mary appeared to the shephard Antonio Botta. Her message was “deliver mercy, and not justice.” That same year, Pace Antonio Sormano began designing the church which now stands on that same spot, about 6 km from Savona's center. A combination of Renaissance and Baroque architecture, the church is filled with details created by many Italian artists, including a beautiful main altar, and frescoes which grace the cupola. Exquisite statues and paintings such as the “Immaculate Conception,” by Paolo Gerolama Brusco, and “Presentation of Mary at the Temple” by Domenichino can be found inside.
 
Civic Archaeological Historian Museum of the Priamar
Artifacts from the Dark Ages and 3rd century floor mosaics are among the fascinating relics found in this museum which documents Priamar Hill's history.
 
Museo d'Arte Sandro Pertini
Sandro Pertini, one time President of the Republic collected many works of art by artists like Giorgio Morandi, Renato Guttuso, Henry Moore, and Juan Miro. They are now on view at this lovely museum.
 
Museo del Tesoro della Cattedrale
A very unique and interesting collection of religious and decorative artifacts are on display at this museum. It features objects such as silverware, statues made of alabaster, and a polyptych of the Assumption. Visits are by appointment only
 
Pinacoteca Civica
Paintings and sculptures by artists from the Ligurian school are on view here. They date from the Middle Ages to the 1700s, and join 16th century ceramic artifacts
 
The Priamar Fortress
Once Savona fell under Genoese rule, this fortress was built on the Promontorio del Priamar. The exact year was 1542, and the spot where the fortress was erected once housed an old cathedral. Later the structure became a prison where, in 1830, the Italian patriot Giuseppe Mazzini was incarcerated.
 
Palazzo Della Rovere
Pope Julius II, formerly known as Giuliano della Rovere, and nicknamed the “Warrior Pope,” built this 16th century palace with the architect Giuliano da Sangallo.
 
Leon Pancaldo Tower
Dedicated to the navigators of Savona, the Leon Pancaldo Tower is a symbol of the city. It is situated in the center of the old town, near the port, and dates back to the 13th century.
 
Piazza Manelli
Those seeking peace often gather in Savona's Piazza Manelli. Women dressed in black, meet at the bell every Friday at 6 pm in a silent demonstration for peace. Others leave flags, flowers, cards, and candles by the monument which is dedicated to those who have died in wars.
 

 

SESTRI LEVANTE

 
Sestri Levante
Surrounded by stunning bays, Sestri Levante is a fabulous beach resort, comprised of a narrow isthmus and the island which it links to the mainland. The beautiful Mediterranean waters are everywhere. The town lies within the Golfo del Tigullo, on the Riviera del Tigullio. On the island, or “isola”, in Italian, narrow streets known as “carrugi” meander through town. Lined with baroque and medieval churches, gorgeous palazzos, villas, gardens, shops, and restaurants, the streets are delightful to stroll. There's an air of elegance that wafts through this lovely Ligurian town overlooking the peaceful Baia del Silenzio (Bay of Silence). The climate is pleasant all year round, but during the summer months, the beaches become filled sun seekers. Hans Christian Anderson was once one of them. Now, each year Sestri Levante awards the Anderson Prize to the best children's book writer, in honor of the legendary fairy tale master. And thanks to this heritage, Sestri Levante has an aura of enchanting whimsy.
 
The Galleria Rizzi
A marvelous collection of works from the Genovese school are on display in this art gallery. They date from the 15th to the 18th century.
 
Church of Saint Nicolo dell'Isola
Dedicated to Sestri Levante's patron saint, Saint Nicolo, this church dates from 1151. It features architectural elements from both the Baroque and Romanic style. Highlights include a bell tower and mullioned windows.
 
Basilica of Santa Maria of Nazareth
Situated in Sestri Levante's historical center, right on the Piazza Matteotti, this is a Baroque church which dates from the early 1600s. A variety of paintings, a Maragliano Pieta, and an intriguing crucifix, called the Santo Cristo, which was discovered in the sea, in the 1800s can all be seen inside.
 
Church of San Pietro in Vincoli
Created by Maragliano, there's a processional ark which is dedicated to Saint Catherine within this church. Initially dedicated to Saint Francis, it is filled with historic religious ornaments and wonderful paintings from the 1600s.
 
Church of Santa Sabina in Trigoso
A lovely pebble mosaic covers the square in front of this church, created in a style known as “risseu.” Part of the Fieschi villa complex, outside the church is a reproduction of the “Presepio dei Delfini” statue which lies in Riva Trigoso.
 
Church of Santo Stefano del Ponte
An incredible crucifix known as the Cristo Nero hangs inside this church, Sestri Levante's oldest Baroque style church.
 
Palazzo Negrotto Cambiaso
The Negrotto Cambiaso Palace is an extraordinary building in Sestri Levante. Constructed in the 1700s, the palace looks out over the beautiful Bay of Silence. The nobles from Genoa stayed here during the summer. After a renovation in the 19th century, the palace became a hospice, and later a school. Today, the building is used for education and research facilities. Conference rooms, offices, and service areas fill the three-story structure which was again redesigned by the architect Silvano Crocco.
 
The Convent of Our Lady of the Annunciation
The Dominican Fathers constructed this wonderful convent in 1496. Located at the tip of the Sestri Levante peninsula, the views from here are incredible. Two sides of the structure look out over the Bay of Silence, and the third side looks out to the vast Mediterranean Sea. A private society purchased the building in 1867, and it became a holiday camp. It's interior, with a frescoed church and cloister is lovely.
 
Historic Villas
When the Genovese aristocrats spent their summers in Sestri Levante they needed grand villas to house themselves. Now these wonderful creations from the 17th and 18th century fill the town, adding to its beauty. Some of the families who owned the villas include Doria, Fieschi, Balbi, Sartorio, Cambiaso, and Pallavicini.
 
Castle Ruins
Constructed during medieval times by the Genoa Republic, the castle was mostly destroyed. Though parts of the ancient walls can still be observed.
 
Marconi Tower
Originally part of the fortification that helped defend Sestri Levante from invastion, the tower was purchased by Guglielmo Marconi in 1934. He used it to experiment with radiotelephony, a system of communicating with ships, through short wave radio frequencies.
 
Palazzo Fascie
The city hall is housed within this eclectic Florentine structure. It is located in the city center.
 
Presepio dei Delfini
Eleven point five meters below sea level lies this bronze nativity scene by Pietro Luigi Ravecca, and Vittorio Innocente. Put into the bay by Riva Trigosa in September of 2000, the five statues can be viewed from a boat.
 
Monument For Christopher Columbus
Constructed in 2002, by Gio Pomodoro, this monument for Christopher Columbus depicts the explorer's sail. The sail, mast, and boom are made of bronze. It stands atop a marble pedestal. An inscription by the poet Mario Luzi, translates to "What a journey have given you the winds."
 
Nature Trails
Dozens of trails for hiking through the Sestri Levante terrain can be enjoyed during a visit. Most offer breathtaking views of the bays surrounding the town. One exceptional route is the trail which goes along the Promontory of Punta Manara. There is also a trail which proceeds upwards to Punta Baffe. This path leads to Moneglia, an enchanting town described below. A hike to the ruins of Sant'Anna takes you over five Napoleonic bridges.
 

 

VENTIMIGLIA

 
Ventimiglia
Genoa, is located where the River Roia meets the Mediterranean Sea. It is comprised of two parts, the old town, situated further up from the sea, and the new town, erected in the 19th century.
Considering its proximity to the French Riviera, Ventimiglia sees many tourists looking for an escape to Italy during the summer. French visitors flock across the border for the street market held every Friday, when vendors line the seafront with their colorful wares. A museum filled with ancient artifacts uncovered during archaeological excavations in the area, as well as splendid botanical gardens, and gorgeous, wide beaches make Ventimiglia a wonderful destination for visitors.
 
The Cathedral of the Assumption
This ancient church constructed in several phases, beginning in the 11th century, boasts a beautiful interior.
 
Church of San Michele
Built on the foundation of an ancient Pagan temple, this 15th century, Romanesque style church is worth a visit not only for its wonderfully ancient interior, but for the views one can see from there.
 
The Prehistorical Museum
Artifacts discovered during archaeological excavations around Ventimiglia, dating from Paleolithic times to the Roman Era are housed within this museum located on Via Balzi Rossi.
 
The Caves of Balzi Rossi
Ancient remains have been found in the Caves of Balzi Rossi including the skeletons of a Cro-Magnon family, and artifacts from the Palaeolithic period. The archeological discoveries can be seen at the Prehistoric Museum.
 
The Giardini Botanici Hanbury
The Hanbury Botanical Gardens, as they are known in English, surround La Mortola, the Villa of Sir Thomas Hanbury. A tremendous variety of flora and fauna can be seen here. It's one of the largest and finest botanical gardens in Europe.
 
The Municipal Library
The municipal library in Ventimiglia houses one of Italy's largest collections of books and manuscripts dating from the 17th century. It is second in size only to one in Venice.
 

 

VERNAZZA

 
Vernazza
Many believe that Vernazza is the most picturesque of the five wonderful towns that make up the Cinque Terre. Clinging to the town's cliffs are quaint homes, connected by winding stone steps and alleyways. An ancient castle stands atop the rocky cliff that stretches out from Vernazza. It watches over the tiny harbor below.
The most exquisite fresh seafood and pasta can be found in this enchanting fishing village. And the sea is easily accessible for those in need of a cooling plunge. Surrounding the village, are lovely olive groves which are said to produce Italy's best olive oil.
 
Church of Santa Margherita d'Antiochia
Overlooking the harbor of Vernazza, this 1318 church includes a beautiful bell tower with an octagonal shape that rises to a height of 40-meters. Constructed in the gothic style, details of the local black rock can be found in the interior, as well as a tabernacle from the 15th century.
 
Sanctuary of the Madonna Reggio
A walk through the hills brings you to this 11th century church. A statue of the Black Madonna is housed inside.
 
Doria Castle
Constructed in the middle ages to defend the town against pirate raids, this ancient castle is worth a visit, for its historical importance as well as for the views.
 

 

ZOAGLI

 
Zoagli
Surrounded by olive groves, Zoagli is a lovely town on the Ligurian coast, which looks out upon the Gulf of Tigullio. It is situated between Rapallo and Chiavari. A railway bridge runs over the pebbly beach, separating the town from the shore. Still, Zoagli is a quiet place full of quaint surprises, and picturesque homes. It makes for a restful and rewarding vacation.
Located on the Riviera di Levante, Zoagli was heavily damaged during World War II, but reconstructed to reflect its former beauty, it has much to offer those looking for a peaceful place by the sea, and makes a wonderful home base for those wishing to explore other towns in the region such as Portofino, Rapallo, and Santa Margherita Ligure.
 
Church of Saint Martin
Raphael Resio frescoes fill this church which was constructed in 1725. Designed by A.M. Ricca, the structure was partially destroyed during World War II. Visitors can also see sculptures made of wood by Maragliano, a tabernacle from the 1400s, a table created by Teramo Piaggio, and 17th century paintings from the Ligurian school.
 
The Towers
Dating from the 16th century, two towers, constructed to defend the town against invading Saracens, still stand in Zoagli.
 
The Railway Bridge
This bridge, constructed in 1865 dominates the Zoagli landscape. It's huge arches span across the town, separating it from the beach. It was destroyed by Allied Forces during World War II in an effort to prevent communication with Genoa, and was rebuilt after the war.
 
The Seafront Promenade
Cut into the cliff, the promenade which runs along the sea in Zoagli is lovely. It allows for extremely romantic strolls, and incredible views of the Mediterranean. Two remaining defense towers which date from the 16th century are located along the promenade. It is worth renting a boat in to observe the beautiful landscape from the sea.
 
The Beach
A shore of pebbles and wonderfully clean waters comprise the charming beach at Zoagli. Those wishing to escape the crowds of families who venture here for a bit of sun, can take a stroll along the rocky coast and find their own little inlet on the sea.
 
 
   

 

 

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